I would like to thank everyone who signed my petition against the NatWest bank closures in Broadstairs and Sandwich. Having a local bank is vital to any community, but for those that do not have access to the internet, the increasing move towards online banking and banking ‘Apps’ is unwelcome.
You will be pleased to know that I presented all of the petitions to NatWest representatives when I met with them on April 21st. It proved to be a productive meeting, where we discussed how to address the concerns of many who rely on the bank to manage their affairs. I brought forward my own solution of local banks getting together in shared premises to keep counter services local.
As you may have heard, Lloyds will also be closing in Broadstairs in July. This will leave Nationwide as the only remaining bank in the local area, which is simply unacceptable and likely to overwhelm local post offices who offer limited banking services. Having this shared premises would retain both banks, covering a wide range of customers that live in the area while cutting their own costs. They were open to my suggestion, so I am hopeful that this might be taken forward nationwide as we are not alone.
STOP NATWEST CLOSING OUR BANKS
On Thursday the 1st December, NatWest announced that they would be closing their Broadstairs branch on the 5th June 2017 and their Sandwich Branch on the 7th June 2017.
Customers of the Broadstairs branch will now need to travel over 2 miles to Ramsgate and those using the Sandwich Branch will have to travel almost 6 miles to Deal.
The closure of these branches would cause unacceptable hardship for local residents. NatWest have stated that these closures are occurring due to increasing usage of online banking. However, we must remember that countless people do not know how to use online banking and rely on visiting their bank in person.
Equally for more elderly residents, it is simply unreasonable and disrespectful to expect them to travel so far to visit what is supposed to be their local bank branch.